I can remember several years ago coming across a quote from a Sufi mystic named al-Halraj who said, "I saw my Lord with the eye of the Heart. I said: 'Who are you?' He answered: 'You'" Simply stated it seems easy to dismiss any truth behind it by compartmentalizing it and labeling it as Sufi propaganda. But, for just a minute lets begin to picture it in the light of Jesus' words of, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
It seems to me like abiding in Jesus is in the same essence as much as being in his nature whether it's eating and drinking with his friends or spiritually engaging with his heavenly Father through prayer. If we want to ask the question, "Who is Jesus?" we can't answer it with out examining where we see Jesus in our own lives physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Again, to ask "Who is Jesus?" we must also ask "Who am I?"
In past I have struggled to picture this covenant within a relational framework. Covenant meant the demands and rules of an institution and it was not meant to be seen within my own nature or even that of a living symbiotic partnership between me and Jesus. Things have changed. My covenant has changed. My relationship with Jesus has become deeper...personal...and alive! I am ready to ask and explore the answers to those questions of "Who is Jesus?" and "Who am I?" The answers not so much in word... but within a relational life!
Expressing God’s Word through personal, relational, creative, missional, and interactive practices of daily life. (Matthew 16:13-20)
I hope to become a better speaker by utilizing every chance I have to do so whether it is in a seniors care center, church, or public advocacy group.
I hope to become more creative in expressing God's truth, through all means and by incorporating others into that practice.
I hope to inspire and encourage others to become self expressive and conscious of God's presence and message coming through their everyday words and deeds.
I hope to continue to develop a "platform" in which I and others can use to express our interactions, experiences, and encounters with Jesus through daily life. More specifically the Expressions Community.
I will continue to write creatively in regards to the ideas, thoughts, wonderings, and dreams that Jesus brings to my heart.
Embodying Jesus Holistically is the Core of Who We Are. (Matthew 22:37)
- Attend Aikido classes 2-3 times a week.
- Exercise with my weights in the gym 2-3 times a week.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the day while eating less meat.
- Wheel/"Walk" whenever posssible.
- Drink more fluids throughout the day.
- Continue reading great books particularly towards building authentic community, faith, and the life of Jesus.
- Read scripture every day. - Any amount will do!
- Practice the art of rest more authentically and holistically every day.
- Maintain a Sabbath day.
- Practice meditation and prayer for at least an hour every week. I often pray continuously throughout the course of a day however, this is more the intentional act of setting things aside with the intent of submission to the cause and moment.
- Pay greater attention to living within the moment at the exclusion of agenda or the straying of the mind with the intent of recognizing Jesus' presence and the consciousness of the Kingdom of God being near. - Easier said then done! I pray for his strength!
- Be more intuitive and willing to respond to the basic needs of my neighbors, friends, family, and my wife Bonnie.
Plan a "date" night with Bonnie at least once every month.
Be the best husband I can be by: listening, flowers (just because), understanding, practicing grace, seeking forgiveness, authentically speaking with her (taking time to speak face to face), cooking, and helping where ever and with what ever possible.
Meet with at least three people a month with the intent of listening, encouraging, and participating when able in their dreams, passions, gifts/talents, and life endeavors. - Coffee, dinner, hang outs, or where ever. Just as long as it is face to face!
Continue writing, researching, and developing what God puts on my heart and sharing it with others.
Engaging the World by missionally seeking to make a difference within our own communities. (Luke 10:1-12)
Continue developing, planning, and implementing 'Expressions Coffee & Tea House'.
Host and plan to have a community movie night once a month either at home or in MTC.
Begin going down to The Mustard Seed once a month while trying to form a group which can join me.
Start a group which meets once a month at a local coffee shop to hang out, find fellowship, and perhaps discuss a planned article centered on Missional Living/Leadership.
Organize and participate with MTC's hospitality team with the intent of "improving" the "Coffee & Tea Environment".
Perhaps this seems too detailed or exhaustive however, much of this I already do and only wish to improve upon it in the light of Jesus' calling. This of course would look very different for someone else. With that in mind, "What does your Covenant look like?"